Summer screen time

This is Mary’s new iPhone.

My niece made it, and it’s easily the most coveted item in our house. Everyone wants it but no one can touch it. After all, Mary has a data plan to consider.

Mary uses it like a fully functional phone — she takes pictures, she texts, she FaceTimes my mom. When she’s across the room from me, she lifts her phone to her ear to talk to me..

In this photo she’s showing Anna a cute puppy video.

Her only complaint is that it doesn’t have Find my iPhone capabilities. Last time I lost my phone she asked me about the whole DING DING DING process. When I explained it, she got a far-off, wistful look, and said, “Wow. I wish my phone had that. When I lose my phone I have to…look for it…”

Mmhmm, Mary. That’s right. You have to look for it. If you’re implying I replace your homemade phone with a real one, you should make yourself comfortable because you’re in for a speech entitled “I was 22 when I got my first phone, and when I was a kid, we had to get chicken pox the hard way.”

But if what you’re asking for is for me to make a little icon and stick it to your pretend phone, I can probably handle that.

One morning I took a blanket out to the backyard and we all sprawled across it. Looking up, I said, “Look guys, there’s not a cloud in the sky.” And Mary corrected me, “Mommy, there just aren’t clouds over us. There ARE clouds in other parts of the sky.”

And then she started tapping on her phone, I can only assume she was Googling “Support groups for children of plebeians.”



  1. Gayle Ann May 31, 2018

    The sad part is, they aren’t a luxury for a child anymore. My sister has one in the backpack of each of her children, with orders they are for emergencies, not games. They are the basic models. They can call her, my brother-in-law, or my mother, and only from school. They have orders to grab their backpacks in an emergency, and call when it is safe. She wanted to be able to contact them when the school has an emergency. When, not if, as it seems that it is only a matter of time before one’s school is in the evening news. The bus in NJ that made the news.. was the exit east of ours on 80.

    My elementary school had a Halloween party each year. We dressed up, and had a parade through the neighborhood, including a near by plaza (at the non-busy end of town). Merchants, and neighbors, waited to pass out candy. Issues with cookies and cupcakes aside, no one leaves the playground today, let alone take candy from strangers. Those are some of my strongest elementary school memories, and it is rather sad to think that those events won’t be experienced by a new generation of children. The goal is now to fortify schools to keep people out. I understand, but it is still sad.

  2. Monica May 6, 2019

    I am all for using technology for our kids today, but as stated above, it’s not a luxury anymore. It’s part of their lives from birth to adulthood. Who knows how it will advance in the next 3-5 years. When our kids are adults and have families, their children will have technology implanted in their hands and brains and we talking just how we are talking about tablets and cellphone.

    Crazy times.

  3. Melissa May 6, 2019

    I love technology for keeping in touch with family – my parents really appreciated FaceTime when we moved states.

  4. cendu May 6, 2019

    Technology really is a double edged sword isn’t it? I think it has so many great benefits for everybody, kids included but like anything, it needs to be in moderation and of course, with adult supervision.

  5. Geeky Daddy May 7, 2019

    Tech is a double edged sword, but also serves its purpose. It is like anything in life: In moderation it is fine. If it becomes a crutch you need constantly, it s becoming a problem.

  6. Trish May 7, 2019

    I love this. I have seven kids and made the mistake of getting the older four phones at a young age. (Not smart phones). When the youngest of those four was around 18, he cemented the fact that I would not be getting the younger kids phones. He looked at me and said I should get his sister a phone because she had a right to have a phone. I literally about threw up. I looked at him and laughed out loud. Then I decided that no one else would be getting a phone. The younger two share a “house” cell phone. When one goes out, they take it. But it’s not theirs. When anyone complains, I remind them that I went out with a quarter not a phone. When I needed my parent, I called them from a contraption on the wall that you pick up and dial, after spending a a quarter. If I was lucky, my mom was home to answer. If not, I got my quarter back and waited! I survived. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here to beg for a phone!

  7. This is such a necessary post! It’s so hard to find balance.

  8. Maryal May 7, 2019

    I love the comment Geeky Daddy made about this – perfectly expresses how I feel about the relationship to technology. Moderation, intention. I can’t even imagine how difficult navigating this is with kids. My heart always goes out to all of the parents out there right now who have to think about this and deal with it on a daily basis. You’re superheroes!

  9. Love this! the struggle is real but it’s helpful to know other mamas are waiting to give their child a phone. THe pretend one is an adorable idea!

  10. Melissa May 8, 2019

    Such a catch 22 technology is. Great read!

  11. Annie May 8, 2019

    Haha 🙂 I enjoyed your humor. And love your pretend phone idea!

  12. Ricci May 8, 2019

    Love this post! LOL!! I don’t have kids but I do have nieces and nephews and while I do see phones (and other tech) being a big part of their lives they don’t get to play on them when they come to my house. I keep them busy outside…LOL!


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